Asher’s sixth birthday wasn’t at all what he had imagined it would be. He spent weeks chattering about his big day and how he couldn’t wait to be six. About two months ago, Ash decided that he wanted a kiwi cake for his birthday. Yes, a kiwi cake. Kiwi is my son’s favorite fruit, along with strawberries, and since he had a strawberry cake last year, this year he wanted a kiwi cake. Last year he also had a longneck shaped cake, so this year he wanted a three-horn. Not to mention his list of 2,145 people he wanted to invite over.
Brian and I spent days trying to explain to him how this birthday would be different. I couldn’t promise him the cake he wanted, because my chemo was scheduled for his birthday. We couldn’t promise him to invite his friends over because of my chemo. We had to celebrate his birthday a week early because of my chemo. There’s a pattern here, and honestly, my chemo stinks! I was frustrated for my son and for my inability to make his day what he wanted it to be.
Then my husband concocted his hair-brained scheme. For those of you who know Brian, you know how good he is at coming up with hair-brained schemes. I’ve learned not to overreact, but there were days in the past where I would cry for hours when he would drop another “great idea” into my lap. This particular scheme involved kiwi cake and a contest, and Asher loved it! The gist of the contest? Several of our friends would bake a kiwi cake, a week before Asher’s birthday we’d have a taste-testing contest to see which was the best cake, and they’d get extra points if they made it shaped like a three-horn. I cringed. Asher’s list included six bakers. That meant six cakes.
What on earth was I going to do with SIX CAKES in my house?! I realized the brilliance of Brian’s plan. At least it was brilliant in his mind, because that meant he would get to eat all that yummy goodness. I hated the scheme. Asher loved it. I couldn’t say “no”. So, a week and a half ago, the kiwi-cake contest was set.
Then life set in… three of our bakers were out of town that weekend, one got the flu. That left two bakers, one of which was my mom who is a fabulous cook, and trust me, you DON’T want to try to face my mom in a baking contest. We ended up nixing the contest all-together, but we still had a small party for Ash a week before his birthday. Mom made the kiwi cake, and I am not kidding when I tell you she would have won, hands down! Asher thrilled to all the fun and delighted in an evening with his cousins. (We’ve posted pictures of the party, so you can see all the fun and the “winning” cake.)
Then his real birthday came. Brian had the day off, which was a special treat considering I’d be gone all day at the cancer center. At 1:00 in the morning on his birthday, Asher woke up with the flu. He spent the night in his sleeping bag on our floor with a bucket. Poor little guy. He felt pretty miserable for the day and had no appetite. Tiff came over with a cake for him that night, and he only ate 2 bites of spaghetti and 2 bites of cake. What a way to spend a birthday.
Asher took it all in stride. Fortunately, he is not the idealist that I am. This birthday was not at all how he imagined it would be, but he didn’t mind. Just like Micah was on his birthday, Asher enjoyed being loved.
He snuggled up in my arms before bed on his birthday, and I said to him, “Hey, Buddy. I’m so sorry you got sick on your birthday. That makes me sad.” Asher found that spot right underneath my chin that God designed perfectly for little heads to fit in. “It’s okay Mom,” he sighed, “I had a fun day anyway.” He’s grown up so much! How can it have been six years since I held my little man in my arms for the first time. Now his lanky body barely fits in my lap, but I still hold him, and we talk. And like he does every night before bed, Asher pulled my head down so he could whisper a secret in my ear, “You’re the best Mom there ever was and ever will be in the whole world.” I squeezed him tight, “And you’re my best Asher there ever was and ever will be.”
My sweet, sweet Asher. You have brought joy to our world, and I pray for many, many more joyous years with you!